“Zootopia” is set in a world of anthropomorphised animals, bringing across race relation issues where prey and predator live in harmony through evolution in a light-hearted comedy. Because it won’t be a kids movie if everyone got eaten.
The directors of Zootopia have an impressive past records – Byron Howard (Bolt and Tangled), Rich Moore (Wreck-it Ralph) and co-directed by Jared Bush (Big Hero 6). Zootopia did not disappoint with its visual storytelling.
The old school detective story revolves around a righteous rural young bunny, Judy Hopps, who dreams of being a police officer, an impossible feat even though she becomes the first bunny to graduate from the top of her class among big and tougher animals. Judy’s job takes her to the big city –a cross between Tomorrowland and a 2040’s theme park, featuring all of the animal kingdom. The miniscule details put into climate and environmental specific subdivisions such as Sahara Square to hamster traveling tubes were a lot to take in (the hamster travelling tubes are as cute as they sound).
The film follows Judy who is set against species stereotyping and wants to prove her worth as a rookie cop, even as a small Leporidae. The story takes a turn from its usual run-of-the-mill plot when Judy tries to prove her worth through a simple person missing case and stumbles into a gritty hard-core crime. Striking an unlikely partnership with a sly con-artist fox, Nick, the pair go on an adventure to solve the case taking us along for the ride.
Voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin, Judy’s sincere optimism rings loud and clear through her bright-eyed overenthusiasm in the face of new obstacles, contrasting really well with Jason Bateman’s Nick Wilde; the fox’s sly drawl and cool reluctance reflecting his skepticism (and cynicism) at how Judy sees the world. The pair’s chemistry worked well on screen with a clear understanding of how not everything in Zootopia is black and white.
The film had massive hype around it on the Internet when it was first announced, with the trailer promising so much. I liked the idea of Disney using prey and predators as parable for racial tensions and stereotyping racial differences while keeping the movie light and not preachy. It ended on a good note with Gazelle (voiced by Shakira) coming on screen for a grand finale performance of the newest Shakira hit “Try Everything”. It’s not Disney without singing after all!
DANamic.ORG Rating: 3/5